Classic Mojito

Finally! I’ve figured out how to make the perfect homemade mojito. Mojitos are bubbly rum cocktails that taste minty-fresh, citrusy and a little sweet. Club soda stretches…

The post Classic Mojito appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

best mojito recipe

Finally! I’ve figured out how to make the perfect homemade mojito. Mojitos are bubbly rum cocktails that taste minty-fresh, citrusy and a little sweet. Club soda stretches out the flavors to create an afternoon-worthy sipper. Mojitos are ultra refreshing on warm days, and I feel like I’m on vacation every time I get my hands on one.

Mojitos originated in Cuba and I hope to taste a real one someday. We enjoyed Cuban-style mojitos in Miami over a long Valentine’s weekend earlier this year. Mojitos happen to be the only cocktail my husband will drink (he’s usually more of a beer and wine guy). I studied the bartenders’ methods while we were there so I could learn how to make them at home.

At Old’s Havana, they lined up highball glasses all the way down the bar, added a generous spoonful of sugar to each, followed by several sprigs of fresh mint (or yerba buena, as they call it). They mixed the mojitos in the glasses by the order, garnishing them with real sugar cane. I swizzled my drink and swayed to the beat of lively Latin string music playing just a few feet away. I honestly don’t know if it was an authentic or manufactured Miami experience, but it was magical nonetheless.

mojito ingredients

Outside of Miami, great mojitos can be hard to come by. Many bars don’t keep fresh mint on hand so they’ll turn down the request, and my own homemade attempts over the years have been lackluster. Now that I’ve studied and practiced my mojito technique, I’m excited to share my mojito recipe with you today!

Turns out, you just need five basic ingredients (mint, lime, sugar, rum and club soda) and a few simple tips to make the best mojito you’ve ever had. You won’t even need a shaker or simple syrup for this classic mojito recipe. Cheers to a long weekend!

Continue to the recipe...

The post Classic Mojito appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Easy Tomato Salad

We have a surplus of tomatoes this summer, and it’s glorious. I dreamed up this simple tomato salad recipe to make use of the excess. I simply…

The post Easy Tomato Salad appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

best tomato salad recipe

We have a surplus of tomatoes this summer, and it’s glorious. I dreamed up this simple tomato salad recipe to make use of the excess. I simply sliced ripe tomatoes into bite-sized pieces, then I added some crisp red onion, lots of fresh basil, and drizzled it all with olive oil and good balsamic vinegar.

The end result is so delicious! This salad really lets raw, peak-season tomatoes shine. The recipe is also quite versatile, so you’ll never tire of it. Try adding some cucumber, mozzarella, avocado, arugula or even peaches.

Serve this tomato salad as a fresh, healthy side salad to any summer meal. It’s best when it’s freshly made, so I recommend cutting the recipe in half if you’re not serving a crowd.

tomato salad ingredients

I grew heirloom tomatoes from seed for the first time this spring. It was a fun process that proved easier than expected. In fact, I underestimated how many of the seeds would sprout. I grew so many tomato plants that we filled our family’s three garden plots and passed along the extra to friends.

Strangely enough, our growing tomato plants have provided a sense of continuity and hope during a tumultuous year. I’ll do it all again next spring, but maybe leave some room for more peppers and cucumbers. Or maybe I need a bigger garden plot. I think I’m hooked!

Continue to the recipe...

The post Easy Tomato Salad appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Elote (Mexican Street Corn)

What is elote? Elote (pronounced eh-loh-tay) is Mexican street corn. If you’ve had it, I bet you love it. If you haven’t, you’re in for a treat!…

The post Elote (Mexican Street Corn) appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

elote recipe

What is elote? Elote (pronounced eh-loh-tay) is Mexican street corn. If you’ve had it, I bet you love it. If you haven’t, you’re in for a treat! Elote tastes sweet and savory, tangy and spicy all at once. I love to make mine with grilled corn for some smokiness, too.

Elote is made with corn on the cob, slathered with mayonnaise, seasoned with chili powder and fresh lime juice, sprinkled all over with salty Cotija cheese and cilantro. It’s messy to eat but worth every bite. Elote is the perfect summertime side dish for any Mexican-inspired meal.

elote ingredients

In Mexico, elote means an ear of corn, and this recipe replicates a popular serving style sold by street vendors. I can’t claim that this elote recipe is quite authentic, but it brings me back to the elotes I enjoyed in Mexico City.

I’m dreaming of traveling throughout Mexico, sampling the cuisine region by region. Someday! For now, we’re making the most of dinner at home.

Continue to the recipe...

The post Elote (Mexican Street Corn) appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Erin’s Peach & Avocado Green Salad

Have you had your fair share of peaches this summer? I certainly have not. I’m remedying that with my friend Erin Clarke’s vibrant peach, avocado and arugula…

The post Erin’s Peach & Avocado Green Salad appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

peach avocado green salad

Have you had your fair share of peaches this summer? I certainly have not. I’m remedying that with my friend Erin Clarke’s vibrant peach, avocado and arugula salad. Erin rounds out the flavors with salty gorgonzola cheese, crisp toasted almonds, and a zippy lemon dressing.

This simple summer salad is more than the sum of its parts. It’s a combination I wouldn’t have come up with on my own, and it’s so lovely. I couldn’t stop going back for more.

Perhaps you know Erin from her blog, Well Plated. Erin has been working hard on her first cookbook for several years now, and I’m so excited to share that it’s finally here! The Well Plated Cookbook (affiliate link) offers over 130 fast, healthy recipes you’ll want to eat.

salad ingredients with well plated cookbook

I found this colorful salad on page 116, titled, “Book Club Salad (A Great, Green Party Salad).” Erin’s headnotes are witty, warm and encouraging, just like she is in real life. Here’s what she had to say about this recipe:

“My friend Erika once brought this salad to our monthly book club, and now, five years later, we still won’t let her bring anything else. We refer to it as ‘The Salad,’ and its presence at the table is more mandatory than actually reading the book. This stellar green salad is sized for a crowd, tastes better than any salad I’ve eaten in a restaurant, and is beautiful and adaptable for the seasons…”

She inspired me not only to make ‘The Salad,’ but to join a book club when we’re able to get together again. In the meantime, this salad recipe is easily halved and perfectly suited for any summer dinner.

Continue to the recipe...

The post Erin’s Peach & Avocado Green Salad appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

The Best Grilled Corn on the Cob

It’s corn season, and I’ve had a hankering for some great corn on the cob. You know the corn I’m talking about—golden and plump kernels with some…

The post The Best Grilled Corn on the Cob appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

best grilled corn recipe

It’s corn season, and I’ve had a hankering for some great corn on the cob. You know the corn I’m talking about—golden and plump kernels with some irresistible, caramelized grill marks.

Slathered with real butter and sprinkled with salt, there’s not much better.

corn on the grill

Last summer, our family and friends gifted us a gas grill for our wedding. Now that I finally have access to one, I’ve had fun learning how to use it.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve tried all the corn grilling methods out there and come up with my own. This recipe yields perfect grilled corn on the cob, every time!

Continue to the recipe...

The post The Best Grilled Corn on the Cob appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Favorite Veggie Burgers

Have you met my favorite veggie burgers? If not, it’s about time! I have high standards for veggie burgers, and these put all the rest to shame.…

The post Favorite Veggie Burgers appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

best veggie burger recipe

Have you met my favorite veggie burgers? If not, it’s about time! I have high standards for veggie burgers, and these put all the rest to shame. I have a feeling they’ll become your favorite veggie burgers, too.

These veggie burgers are hearty and satisfying, and feature an irresistible combination of flavors. They start with a base of quinoa, black beans and oats. Then we amp up the volume with sweet potatoes, fresh herbs, and some carefully chosen seasonings. They’re a little sweet and a little spicy, in the best of ways.

veggie burger ingredients

You may recognize this recipe as the “Sweet Potato and Black Bean Veggie Burgers” that have been hidden in the archives for quite some time. There’s a chance you’ve enjoyed these burgers in my cookbook, Love Real Food, sandwiched between buns with a crisp lime-cilantro cabbage slaw and guacamole (page 177).

Or maybe you’re seeing these burgers for the first time right now! If so, I’ll share why this veggie burger recipe is my favorite:

  1. These burgers are absolutely delicious. In fact, these are the best veggie burgers I’ve ever had. They’re better than any restaurant’s, and far better than store-bought frozen veggie burgers.
  2. These burgers retain their shape before, during and after cooking. Many veggie burgers are a chore to make or to eat, but these are totally fuss-free.
  3. You can cook these burgers in the oven, on the stove, or yes, even on the grill. They also freeze well, so you can make a full batch and enjoy them over time.
  4. These veggie burgers are perfect for serving to friends who follow special diets. These burgers are vegetarian, of course. They’re also conveniently vegan, gluten free, nut free, egg free and soy free.

Continue to the recipe...

The post Favorite Veggie Burgers appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Tom Collins Cocktail

Do you know Tom Collins? The cocktail? If not, you’ve been missing out. I used to serve Tom Collins way back when I was a bartender, and…

The post Tom Collins Cocktail appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

best tom collins cocktail recipe

Do you know Tom Collins? The cocktail? If not, you’ve been missing out. I used to serve Tom Collins way back when I was a bartender, and I believe this classic drink deserves some more attention.

Tom Collins cocktails taste like grown-up lemonade. They’re irresistibly citrusy, fizzy and refreshing, with herbal notes from the gin. While lemonade can be cloying, Tom Collins need not be too sweet—I like mine with just a splash of simple syrup to round out the flavors.

tom collins ingredients

If you enjoy a cold French 75 or Bee’s Knees, you’ll definitely enjoy a Tom Collins. They all share a similar flavor profile. Tom Collins are the perfect cocktails for hot summer afternoons, since they’re served over ice and full of hydrating club soda. I’ll always choose a Tom Collins over a gin and tonic.

To make a Tom Collins from scratch, you’ll need a few basic ingredients (gin, lemons, club soda, and sugar or honey), a cocktail shaker and plenty of ice. Add a fancy cocktail cherry if you really want to do it right. Cheers!

Continue to the recipe...

The post Tom Collins Cocktail appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Easy Homemade Pickles

What took me so long to make classic pickles? As it turns out, homemade dill pickles are simple, easy and delicious. They’re the perfect little summertime project,…

The post Easy Homemade Pickles appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

best cucumber pickles recipe

What took me so long to make classic pickles? As it turns out, homemade dill pickles are simple, easy and delicious. They’re the perfect little summertime project, if you even want to call it that. These pickles are ready after a short chill in the refrigerator (as little as one hour), and they keep for several weeks.

These pickles are tangy and refreshing, nice and crisp, and offer garden-fresh flavor. They remind me of Claussen or Grillo’s pickles—but they’re even better. In short, I’m in love with this refrigerator pickle recipe and I think you will be, too.

how to slice cucumbers

These pickles are made with simple ingredients, including vinegar (I prefer rice vinegar’s mild flavor), fresh dill (technically optional, but delicious), a couple cloves of garlic, and a few basic seasonings.

I added a touch of sweetener, too—just enough to cut the bite of vinegar. These pickles are decidedly tangy, and nowhere near “bread and butter” territory. However, the sweetness level is entirely up to you.

These pickles aren’t overwhelmingly salty, either, yet they’re fully seasoned. They are irresistibly just right—perfect for burgers, for snacking, and more.

Continue to the recipe...

The post Easy Homemade Pickles appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Vegetarian “BLT” Sandwich

Here’s a vegetarian spin on a classic BLT sandwich! We should probably call it an “HLT” since we’re using halloumi cheese in place of bacon. Halloumi is…

The post Vegetarian “BLT” Sandwich appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

vegetarian BLT sandwich recipe

Here’s a vegetarian spin on a classic BLT sandwich! We should probably call it an “HLT” since we’re using halloumi cheese in place of bacon. Halloumi is a magical cheese from Cyprus that retains its shape when heated, rather than melting.

Pan-fried halloumi cheese turns deliciously crisp and golden on the outside, and leans more savory in flavor. It’s a little chewy and somewhat salty. In other words, pan-fried halloumi makes a fine bacon replacement, especially if you shower it with freshly ground black pepper while hot.

This sandwich is closer to an authentic BLT than my more abstract vegan BLT, which is made with coconut bacon and avocado instead of mayo. Make your preferred variation before tomato season ends!

Serve these sandwiches with a simple side salad—perhaps Gaby’s Cucumber Salad or a green salad with balsamic vinaigrette.

Continue to the recipe...

The post Vegetarian “BLT” Sandwich appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Refreshing Hibiscus Mocktail

I’ve indulged in my fair share of cocktails this year, but sometimes, I just want a fun, fizzy, non-alcoholic drink. Something cold to savor on a hot…

The post Refreshing Hibiscus Mocktail appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

sparkling hibiscus mocktail recipe

I’ve indulged in my fair share of cocktails this year, but sometimes, I just want a fun, fizzy, non-alcoholic drink. Something cold to savor on a hot afternoon, or an enticing alternative to chilled wine in the evening. Something party-worthy to offer my friends and family members, and all the cute kids who come with them.

This beauty is refreshing and hydrating, and so colorful that it makes a slow afternoon seem downright festive. The outrageous pink color comes from hibiscus tea, which is easy to find at the grocery store if you look for Tazo’s “Passion” blend.

how to make a mocktail

Once the tea has had a chance to cool, we’ll fill our glasses (or a pitcher) with ice. We’ll finish off these drinks with some honey simple syrup (as little or as much as you want), a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and a gentle glug of Topo Chico, the finest of sparkling waters.

I’ve been on a Topo Chico kick this summer, but really, any sparkling water will do. The end result is full of flavor, lightly sweet, and irresistibly bubbly.

Continue to the recipe...

The post Refreshing Hibiscus Mocktail appeared first on Cookie and Kate.